October 13th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
1 year ago

Rallier tells Obama to 'put the Quran down'

Updated 3:37 p.m. ET, 10/13/2013

Washington (CNN) - Angered by the closure of national landmarks due to the partial government shutdown, a crowd of conservatives removed barricades Sunday at the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial as they rallied against President Barack Obama and Democrats for their role in the ongoing stalemate.

High-profile speakers with close ties to the tea party appeared at the event, including former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

The rally, billed as the "Million Vet March on the Memorials," drew far fewer than a million people and evolved into a protest that resembled familiar tea party events from 2009, with yellow "Don't Tread On Me" flags throughout the crowd and strong anti-Obama language from the podium and the audience.

One speaker went as far as saying the president was a Muslim and separately urged the crowd of hundreds to initiate a peaceful uprising.

"I call upon all of you to wage a second American nonviolent revolution, to use civil disobedience, and to demand that this president leave town, to get up, to put the Quran down, to get up off his knees, and to figuratively come out with his hands up," said Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, a conservative political advocacy group.

Shutdown drags on: 'It's taken far too long'

On the first day of the government shutdown, October 1, a group of World War II veterans was barred from entering the open-air memorial. But with the help of a few Republican members of Congress, the veterans removed the barricades and streamed onto the site, as security guards stood aside.

The Department of Interior has since said that veterans with the Honor Flight program will be permitted to visit the memorial as part of their First Amendment rights, but otherwise the site is closed to the general public until the government reopens.

Veterans groups to push to end government shutdown

Cruz, the senator who's become the face of the Republican stance in the shutdown, attacked the Obama administration for fencing off the memorial and other national monuments, saying the closures were nothing but a political ploy.

"This is the people's memorial. Let me ask a simple question. Why is the federal government spending money to erect barricades to keep veterans out of this memorial?" he asked. "Our veterans should be above politics. Enough games."

Demonstrators removed the barricades Sunday at the rally, tossing them into a pile nearby. After the speeches, the crowd wandered down to the nearby Lincoln Memorial and removed its barriers as well. When some officers tried to put them back up, protesters took them from the officers' hands and carried them away from the memorial.

"You look around though and you see these barricades and you have to ask yourself, is this any way that a commander in chief would show his respect, his gratitude to our military? This is a matter of shutdown priorities," Palin said.

RNC offers to pay for WWII memorial guards

Anti-Obama sentiments echoed throughout the crowd Sunday, with one protester yelling out "punk" to describe the president and one speaker saying Obama is not the president of "the" people but "his" people. Multiple signs read "Impeach Obama."

Asked last week whether the White House had any say in the closure of the World War II Memorial, spokesman Jay Carney said Republicans were at fault.

"Every House Republican who has decried any impact from this shutdown, as if they were surprised that it would happen, clearly didn't pay attention when every agency of the federal government posted on their websites ... what would happen if the government were shut down, including the closing of national memorials and national parks," he said at a press briefing.

"If any member of Congress who got in front of a television camera to try to get some attention on this issue spent half that time on the floor of the House voting to open the government, we wouldn't have a problem," he added.

Photo by Brian Rokus

Later on Sunday, some people from the rally walked over to Pennsylvania Avenue carrying the barricades and dumped them in front of the White House. While they gathered peacefully for the most part, some were more vocal and shouted at police on horseback. "You work for us," some chanted.

At one point, some pushing and shoving took place as police in riot gear began to put up some barricades in front of part of the White House fence.

Tourists were also among the mix Sunday, taking pictures as normal, while others simply came out of curiosity.

Ashley Killough wrote; Shannon Travis and Brian Rokus reported from the National Mall and the White House. CNN's Jim Acosta also contributed from the White House.


Filed under: President Obama • Tea Party • Washington
soundoff (2,570 Responses)
  1. Anonymous

    if you arent a vet maybe you should thank one instead of making fun of them.if

    October 14, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  2. RockInD

    That's really funny. Cause a government shutdown, then complain that the government is shut down!

    October 14, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  3. Me

    This is all a bunch of grandstanding by the teabeggers in Congress and their meat puppets. They are the cause and they know it but they manipulate the ignorant masses to think they had nothing to do with it. Fool! All of them!.
    Where are the police that were beating peaceful OWS protestors? Were they sent home as to not have to beat on these criminals? What a joke the system has become when the crazies are running the place and all the sane people are not given a real voice anymore.

    October 14, 2013 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  4. cedar rapids

    'Disgusted
    ...... HE NEEDS TO BE RUN OUT OF OFFICE AND AMERICA !!! GO HOME TO YOUR MUD HUT !'

    mud hut huh? now do tell us how his skin color makes no difference to you.

    For those moaning about people claiming racism in such gatherings.......its because of comments like the one above.

    October 14, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  5. John Smith

    The Nazi party was a bunch of crazies too. They started as a fringe movement by wackos and it wasn't until they got a leader they became the threat they were. The Tea Party crazies are in the process of doing that now. They just need a charismatic leader. They have the money, they have the propaganda machine they just need someone they can get the masses to follow. These people are dangerous and are following the lead of the Nazis, tell the lie enough it becomes truth. The German people were duped by this fear mongering and spewing of lies and now the American people have to stand up and get rid of these White supremacist's before it is too late. The Nazis never attained power through a majority at the ballot box they did it by paralizing government and selling themselves as the saviours of the nations ills. Sound familiar?

    October 14, 2013 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  6. Me

    This is The USA! A persons religion has nothing to do with their right to hold political office. These racist dirtbags call him Muslim because if they called him what they really wanted to call him they would be pushed back under their rocks where they belong.

    October 14, 2013 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  7. Sivick

    And they wonder why they get called bigots...

    October 14, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  8. chris mcnally

    I love how states, cities, and local communities have stepped up to try and re open parks and monuments and how the obummer administration has refused to let them re open. This is blatantly obvious MAKING IT HURT politics by the administration yet again. Just like the end of the world sequester that nobody noticed. PERMANENTLY CLOSE THE FEDERAL GOVT FOR GOOD AND LEAVE IT UP TO THE STATES! WE DONT WANT OR NEED ANY OF YOU PUNKS!

    October 14, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  9. Dclark

    All of this "Obamacare/Shutdown" nonsense is because of one thing... President Obama is black. Period. Many of these Tea Party folks will disagree with him no matter what. This is why they voted against their own interests. Obama absolutely CAN NOT be seen as a successful President. He could cure cancer and they would find a way to demonize him for it. It's 2013 and they actually listen to someone who thinks the POTUS is a muslim? So what if he was a muslim, this is America isn't it? Don't we have freedom of religion? I could go on but... Oh well. Stupid is as stupid does.

    October 14, 2013 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  10. davidw

    there was another political organization which was willing to destroy its own nations economy in order to gain power; and that was the Nazis in the 1930's. The Tea Party is another. Instead of Obama putting down the Quran maybe Klayman and his followers should put down Mein Kampf.

    October 14, 2013 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  11. Richard Miller

    I love it when the chicken hawks come out and Cruz is one of the biggest. Blowhards.

    October 14, 2013 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  12. Boisepoet

    Any doubt left the Tea Party is fueled by racism?

    October 14, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  13. disqus_m4RzRjSnrs

    So, none of the protestors could have possibly been Democrat vets who served their country? Does this mean on the Tea Party and the Republicans serve, or have served in the defense of America?

    October 14, 2013 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  14. Marinevet

    I would not be seen with these people. Flying the confederate flag? Calling the president a Muslim as a slur?

    These people don't seem to care at all the damage they are doing to this great country.

    Shame shame shame on the hundreds of people who participated in this racist, religiously bigoted event.

    October 14, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  15. Yorktown

    Tea Party is just another name for the KKK

    October 14, 2013 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. Paul

    As a veteran, I am offended by this abuse of our honor for political purposes. Klayman is advocating ocerthrow of the government and shoudl be chardged with sedition. He is racist and uninformed and pandering to those like him who have no regard or use for facts,

    October 14, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  17. Frankie

    Wow, I guess if you tell a lie often enough the truly ignorant might actually believe it. Obama isn't a Muslim and has never been one and this shutdown is the work of the Republicans. Maybe these ignorant idiots should focus their anger to the correct target for once.

    October 14, 2013 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  18. Michele

    "to put the Quran down"

    Er, huh?

    October 14, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  19. Sampson

    These people are absolutely crazy!!

    October 14, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  20. American

    That was a non-hypocritical rally of the knowledgeable people that love their country.

    October 14, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. Unlo4

    Note to self: Never call an event "Million ... March" because it never is. And when it falls short, you look like an idiot.

    October 14, 2013 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    hate is the easyest emotion and requires the least thought. What after hate.... and anger... nothing no plan.

    October 14, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  23. Mo

    Jerry
    Glad we still have some true Americans that will stand up for what this Country is about and not bow down to the Muslim in Office as President.

    Jerry, could you please tell me what a true american is? Going through years of US history, throughout school never said anything about Americans, being of Christian faith. The first settlers on the American continent were refugees leaving Europe. This marks a pretty big holiday in the United States of America called Thanks Giving, that your government and job gives you off to celebrate. There are several american muslims around you that celebrate that holiday here. For the same reason for getting refuge from religious dictator, poverty (ie the american dream). The last thing i want to ask you about is the We The People... On the second amendment it states the freedom of religion, this does not say anywhere that we the people need to be Christian, Jewish, Muslims, Sikh, Buddhist, etc. If the true american is a Christian please be educated on the definition of an American, if you want to contribute to society please educate yourself in not only your religion but the worlds religion. Best of Luck! I think one thing that everyone agrees to is the gov't needs to open, and lets make that our focus!

    October 14, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  24. respect

    Disgusted please take a chill pill and go home to your mansion.

    October 14, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  25. katrina sivid

    What a misleading headline – and how it is amazing how differently you are reporting on this rally versus the illegals on the National Mall. No wonder everyone thinks you are in the tank for liberals and Obama. Shameful. Where have all the real reporters gone????

    October 14, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
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